Stories about money laundering

Corruption or negligence: The (not so) curious case of Murad Ali Shah’s resignation

Globally, it is common for politicians and public officials to step down from office if an allegation is made against them and an investigation is ongoing. After all, being in the public eye entails that one allegation is enough to cause lasting damage to one’s reputation and career. Thus, once a concern is raised, it is in the official’s best interest to step down instead of remaining at a post paid for through the public exchequer.  For instance, some leaders across the globe voluntarily stepped down after their names were included in the Panama Papers scandal. Unfortunately in Pakistan, those who ...

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Caught between a rock and a hard place, Asif Ali Zardari’s days in politics may be numbered

Finally, the noose has tightened around Mr Asif Ali Zardari and other stalwarts of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP). A joint investigation team (JIT) report presented before the Supreme Court (SC) accused Zardari, his sister Faryal Talpur, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah and others in 16 different cases pertaining to money laundering, misuse of authority and allotting government land to a private housing society at low prices. The 128-page long JIT report is comprehensive and can be termed as solid evidence of the wrongdoings committed by Zardari and his accomplices. How Zardari will defend himself in the court remains ...

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Real estate, the new mafia: How can we fix Pakistan’s housing market?

The new Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government’s priority is housing. Providing five million houses would certainly pick up the economy since around 40 industries would be throttled up to meet the demands of around five million houses. This is indeed commendable. Even though the target of five million houses seems a bit far-fetched, one could argue that setting up a lofty goal would actually keep the government on its toes. Even achieving a small percentage of the mighty five million would be a relief for the homeless and relevant industries. For the purpose of land for this scheme, government is eyeing ...

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The corrupt, disgraced and disqualified prime minister who cried wolf

A while ago, Nawaz Sharif suggested that if things kept going the way they were, he would also, in retaliation, reveal the many secrets and insider information he was privy to. This was a veiled threat, but the implication was clear: Nawaz would not go down quietly, and if the attack on him did not abate, he would most likely disclose state secrets. Now, Nawaz seems to have made good on his threat, for in a recent interview to controversial journalist Cyril Almeida, he acknowledged that the terrorists behind the 26/11 Mumbai attacks were non-state actors sent by Pakistan, and ...

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The freedom to make or amend constitutional laws is Pakistan’s fundamental flaw

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi recently remarked that Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution may be scrapped with the consultation of all parties. In case readers have forgotten, this particular article had provided the grounds of Nawaz Sharif’s disqualification. Constitutionally, Abbasi is correct, as Article 239 titled ‘Constitutional Amendment Bill’ states the following in clause (5): “No amendment of the Constitution shall be called in question in any court on any ground whatsoever.” Furthermore, clause (6) states, “For the removal of doubt, it is hereby declared that there is no limitation whatsoever on the power of the Parliament to amend any of the provisions of the Constitution.” Therefore, if Article 62 is ...

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PML-N is like a hydra; you cut one head off, three more – Shahid Khaqan, Shehbaz Sharif and Hamza Shehbaz – will emerge

Pop goes the weasel. Nawaz Sharif is out. There is joy and jubilation in the opposition camps but gloom and despair in the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) camp. The way forward is interesting to say the least. Nawaz didn’t nominate one person for the prime ministerial slot, he nominated two – Shahid Khaqan Abbasi for the coming month and Shehbaz Sharif until the next elections. The candidacy of these two gentlemen should not come as too much of a surprise. Abbasi is a long-time Sharif loyalist while Shehbaz is Nawaz’s younger brother. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) had nominated Sheikh Rasheed, while the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) had ...

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Why NAB should be disbanded and replaced by an anti-corruption bench of the SC

There is much talk of disqualifying the Panama accused to prevent them from running for public office again. Disqualification alone will be against the principles of natural justice. Simply disqualifying the accused will send the wrong message to other corrupt politicians who have enriched themselves over the past few years. The court (in addition to sentencing the accused as per law), should also seize all their properties and assets, freeze their bank accounts, confiscate their vehicles and put their names on the Exit Control List (ECL). And it should not simply end with the conviction and disqualification of those who are on trial today. There are ...

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Should Pakistan accept the criminally degenerate from other countries?

News emerged last week that a group of men convicted of committing horrific child sex abuse against underage girls in Rochdale, UK, were denied their appeals against deportation to Pakistan. The accused in question had dual British-Pakistani citizenship, and acquired their British passports through naturalisation.  The purpose behind the deportation is to punish those who pursue vile criminal acts in the UK and then hide behind the human rights guaranteed to them through their British nationality. Although the case will still be protracted and significant time will pass before they return to Pakistan, it is still an embarrassing prospect to deal with. Let’s not ...

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Mustafa Kamal or MKUltra?

MKUltra was a top-secret Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) mind control program initiated in the 50s. It involved the use of drugs, chemicals and other sensory stimuli to breakdown an individual’s will. Other implications of the program included brainwashing and indoctrination, which would lead to the creation of sleeper agents to be used for ulterior purposes. Once you gain control of a subject, the possibilities are endless. On a larger scale, gaining control of peoples’ minds or the group mind depends on several factors most important of which is opinion leadership. When several individuals identify with each other in a personal relationship, they form a ...

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Let’s address our own double standards before blaming Ayaan Ali

The University of Karachi (KU) has been home to intellectual discussions and scholarly rendezvous since time immemorial. Academic finesse is ubiquitous here and I have always found myself inspired while walking through its corridors and thinking about all the greats who have walked the same path before me. The university has had the privilege to host esteemed guests at its various ceremonies – it has seen the likes of Haseena Moin, Ibne Insha, Zia Mohyeddin and many other legends who have come and inspired students with their lectures. Contemporary celebrities like Fawad Khan, Mahira Khan, Kamila Shamsie, Sania Saeed, Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan and others have also recently shown their support ...

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